Allan and Lorna Brizzle wait anxiously for the Allora Medical Practice to reopen.
Allan and Lorna Brizzle wait anxiously for the Allora Medical Practice to reopen.

Patients fear surgery to stay shut

A ONCE thriving business is now barren and closed with Allora residents concerned the doors will never reopen.

Allan and Lorna Brizzle along with hundreds of other residents have been left in the lurch after the Allora Medical Surgery closed in December while the Condamine Medical Centre (CMC) frantically tries to replace their doctor.

“Then there are people who don’t have a car or can’t drive which makes it hard to go anywhere other than Allora,” Mr Brizzle said.

“It has been a big inconvenience for us but not as much as it has been for others.”

Mrs Brizzle who suffers from numerous medical conditions said the whole town has complained about the situation and it has affected a lot of the elderly.

“This is an old person’s town and as you get older you should and need to go to the doctor more,” Mrs Brizzle said.

The couple moved to the quiet country town from the city seven years ago and with a doctor, grocery store, chemist, it had everything they needed, until now.

Mrs Brizzle doesn’t have a licence and it was convenient for her to jump on the scooter and go down to the doctor in Allora for her frequent appointments, now she jokes it would be a bit hard to get to Warwick on her little scooter.

“You get used to a doctor as well and the doctor gets to know who you are and your conditions if you go to the Condamine Medical Centre you always get someone different and have to start again now,” she said.

Another Allora resident Jan Moore suffers from diabetes and the issue of securing an appointment at the CMC in Warwick has proven to be another problem for Allora.

She is required to have tests and a doctor’s visit every three months to monitor the serious condition and was disappointed with the response last week.

“I was due on March 18 to get my blood test and then an appointment in the next few days but I can’t get into May and I’ll be nearly due to go again. You just don’t know how it’s going to go,” she said frustrated.

“Everyone is really concerned about it.”

It is not just the elderly who are being affected with mother of two Alison May annoyed with the struggle to get a doctors appointment for her boys.

“At the end of January I couldn’t get Marty into his immunisation until the end of February and then I tried again yesterday and couldn’t get in to after 5pm where I had to pay a higher fee when he was sick,” Mrs May said.

She ended up taking her son to the Clifton doctor and if she couldn’t get there would have had to go to Toowoomba.

“It’s easier to go to emergency in Toowoomba. With a 20 minute drive to Warwick or 40 minute drive to Toowoomba it makes it hard when you need to get your child to the doctor straight away.”

Allora Pharmacist John Constable said it was affecting people who don’t easily have transport the most.

“They have to work in with other people instead of being independent,” Mr Constable.

“The Condamine Medical Centre is doing everything they can to get a new doctor; they are even advertising Australia wide.”

The Condamine Medical Centre was unable to comment on when the Allora surgery will be re-opened.

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